Risotto of pumpkin and Parmesan
Saturday 06 December 2008
2-3 medium-large pumpkins (or butternut squash), peeled, seeded and cut into 1cm dice (reserve the peelings)
A couple of good pinches of saffron strands
1tbsp tomato purée
5 litres hot vegetable stock, or 5 good quality stock cubes dissolved in that amount of water
3 medium onions, peeled and then finely chopped
150ml olive oil
1.25kg carnaroli rice
200g freshly grated Parmesan
Put the squash peelings into a saucepan with the saffron, tomato purée and vegetable stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes, then strain through a fine-meshed sieve.
Rinse and dry the pan, then melt the butter and gently cook the shallots in the butter for a few minutes until soft. Add the rice, stirring it well with a wooden spoon over a low heat for a minute.
Gradually add the hot stock, a little at a time, for 5 minutes, stirring constantly and ensuring that each addition has been fully absorbed by the rice before adding the next.
Add the squash, season and continue adding the stock and cooking in the same way until the rice is soft, but still a little al dente and plump: the risotto should be quite moist at this stage; not dry and not too wet. Add the butter and stir in half of the Parmesan. Correct the seasoning; serve with the rest of the Parmesan.
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